Eurobites: Patent Litigants' Wings Clipped

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: outlook flat for Telekom Austria; TeliaSonera's problems in Eurasia; mobiles made in Congo.

  • Has the European patents litigation bandwagon -- which has been barreling along nicely in the telecom sector -- hit a speed bump? This may be the case following a decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union, which obliges patent holders to offer those deemed to be infringing the patent in question a chance to buy a license before launching legal action. The judgement was sparked by the ongoing LTE patents ruckus between Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763).

  • Telekom Austria Group has revised its group revenues outlook for 2015 to "flat" following its first-half results, which show group revenue stable at €1.93 billion (US$2.1 billion) and group EBITDA up 7.4% to €665.3 million ($724.5 million). The operator had previously forecast a 2% rise in sales this year. Carlos Slim's América Móvil S.A. de C.V. took control of the Austrian incumbent in July 2014, when it paid €743.4 million ($1.01 billion) to acquire an additional 23% of Telekom Austria's capital. (See Eurobites: Carlos Slim Lands Telekom Austria and Telekom Austria Cutbacks Fuel Profit Growth.)

  • Tough times in Eurasia were cited as one of the factors behind Telia Company 's less-than-stellar first-half results, with net income slipping 6.9% year-on-year to 6.97 billion Swedish kronor ($812 million). In a statement accompanying the results, President and CEO Johan Dennelind said he anticipated "increased risks related to performance in Eurasia." (See TeliaSonera Reports H1 .)

  • Africa's Republic of Congo is to start manufacturing its own mobile phones for the first time, courtesy of VMK, a company established by 29-year-old Verone Mankou in 2009. As Reuters reports, VMK is hoping to assemble around 4 million phones annually.

  • In another sign that over-the-top video is taking off in Europe, German TV listings magazine TV Spielfilm has launched an OTT video platform in its own home country, reports Broadband TV News. The new online video service, which will compete against existing OTT offerings from Zattoo and Magine TV, features more than 70 TV channels delivered as live streams to PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. The TV Spielfilm app can be downloaded to both iOS and Android devices.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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